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Two Asian women repeatedly attacked with cinder block as they closed Baltimore store

"It was pretty hard to watch the two elderly women being smashed in the head with a brick," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said of video of the attack.

A man was arrested after two Asian women, ages 66 and 67, were repeatedly attacked with a cinder block at a Maryland liquor store early Tuesday, police said.

Daryl Doles, 50, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, police said. Authorities did not specify whether the incident was being treated as a hate crime.

The attack unfolded shortly after midnight at a liquor store in the 2000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore, police said. The women, who are store employees, were closing up shop when a man broke into the store, authorities said.

Surveillance video shows a man forcing his way into the store and wrestling with one of the women as she tries to close the door. The video captures another unidentified man inside the store who appears to watch, step aside and walk out the door shortly after the woman is pulled to the ground.

The first man, who authorities alleged was Doles, can be seen in the video repeatedly striking the woman in the head with a cinder block, according to authorities, as he holds her down with his body. Another woman from inside the store appears to help the woman on the floor before being overwhelmed by the man.

Video shows the man then hitting the women multiple times in the head with the cinder block before the brutal attack is taken outside the store. He took off from the store but was later arrested, authorities said.

Both women were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Photos posted on a GoFundMe fundraising page for the victims showed the women's bruised and swollen faces. John Yun, who said he is the son of one of the victims and nephew of the other, wrote that his aunt suffered black eyes and had to get more than 25 stitches on her head.

"We are relieved that both of their CT scans came back good and were discharged hours later," Yun wrote.

The victims' attorney, Robert Hur, a former U.S. attorney for Maryland and head of the state's Hate Crime Task Force, said in a statement that his clients were "recovering from their serious injuries."

"While we are still learning the facts, one thing is clear: Such shocking acts of violence against fellow members of our neighborhoods cannot go on," Hur said. "The family is grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and support."

"I urge everyone to do all we can to raise awareness and to speak out against bias, hate, and violence against any members of our city and community, including Asian Americans," he said.

The names of the women were not immediately released.

Efforts to reach Doles by phone numbers listed for him were unsuccessful Wednesday. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.

Gov. Larry Hogan said he was "outraged" by Tuesday's assault.

"It’s just another example of these violent outbursts and attacks on Asians all across the country," Hogan said at a news conference Tuesday. "It was pretty hard to watch the two elderly women being smashed in the head with a brick."

The brutal assault was the latest in a string of attacks against Asian Americans across the country.

A man was arrested in the stabbing of two Asian women who were waiting for a bus in San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon, police said. The women, ages 85 and 65, were taken to the hospital, where they were stable, said Matt Haney, a district supervisor on the city's board of supervisors.

Authorities have not called the attack a hate crime or discussed a motive.

On Sunday in New York City, an Asian woman was attacked with a hammer by a stranger who demanded she remove her mask, police said. The 31-year-old woman was taken to the hospital for a laceration to the head. The New York Police Department's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating; no arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.

In late March, a man repeatedly kicked a 65-year-old Asian woman outside a luxury apartment building in New York City as witnesses appeared to watch. Authorities arrested a suspect, who was on lifetime parole for fatally stabbing his mother in 2002. The two apartment building doormen who were caught on video appearing to watch the attack unfold were fired, the building's owner said.

Last week, a new analysis of hate crime data revealed that the increase in anti-Asian attacks has remained consistent.

The research, released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes surged 169 percent when comparing the first quarter of 2021 to the same time period in 2020 across 15 major cities.

A report from the center in March showed that hate crimes increased by nearly 150 percent in major cities last year.